CSS Awards Design Nominee

Ladies Learning Code

Annual Report 2016

A Note From The Team

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Creating this report to share with you, our community, has been a process filled with nostalgia and pride as we reflect on how far Ladies Learning Code has come in just five years.

What started as the passion project of four young women in Toronto has evolved into a national not-for-profit organization at the forefront of the digital literacy movement in Canada.

While we are certainly proud of the progress that we have made in getting digital literacy and 21st century skills education onto the agendas of industry, government, and school boards, it is the individual stories of impact from our community that most effectively illustrate the significance of our work.

From the woman who completely reinvented her career through our programs, to the young girl who created a game for her visually impaired sister when there were none, to the teen who aced her AP CS class and is now on her way to university to major in computer science -- this report is a celebration of the lives that we have changed from coast to coast.

As we trace our progress and impact over the years, one thing is overwhelmingly clear: none of it would have been possible without the incredible support of our community. From our sponsors to our learners to the thousands of volunteers who teach in communities across Canada -- Ladies Learning Code is, and always will be, a community-driven organization.

Together we have come so far, but there is much work yet to be done. This next year will be another big one for Ladies Learning Code, and we will need our community more than ever.

Digital literacy for women and youth is rapidly gaining attention in the tech community, in education circles, and even on public agendas. Now is the time to capitalize on this incredible groundswell of support for our shared vision and make lasting change.

Our Mission

We believe that computer programming and other technical skills are a tool of empowerment, and it is our mission to ensure that all Canadians — particularly women and youth — have access to the skills they need to thrive in our increasingly digital world.

The Core Team of LLC

Our Programs

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Our adult programming offers women (and men) hands-on, project-based learning experiences that are designed to give beginners the skills and confidence they need to become digital creators. Our workshops and educational events are open to adults of all ages.

Workshops cover everything from introductory HTML & CSS, to WordPress, Python, Ruby, web design and more. They are especially popular and successful because of the 4:1 ratio of students to volunteer mentors at every workshop, which is only possible because of overwhelming support from the technology and startup communities in the cities in which we operate.

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Girls Learning Code programs are designed to help girls see technology in a whole new light – as a medium for self-expression, and as a means for changing the world. We run week-long camps, after school programs, field trips, workshops and “We’ll Take Your Kids to Work” days where we bring girls on a tour of local technology companies to learn more about careers in tech.

Programs cover a variety of topics from programming languages like HTML & CSS and Ruby, to image editing and blog creation, to 3D printing to hardware hacking with arduinos and more.

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As Girls Learning Code grew in popularity, we began receiving inquiries from parents looking for learning opportunities for their boys. In response to this community need, Kids Learning Code was created. Like Girls Learning Code, these programs are beginner-friendly, hands-on and fun. Our 4:1 ratio of kids to mentors is maintained with balanced numbers of male and female mentors. At each program, 50% of tickets are reserved for boys and 50% for girls.

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Our newest initiative, introduced in the Summer of 2016, the aim of Teachers Learning Code is to empower traditional and nontraditional educators to introduce coding into their classrooms and communities. Inspired by our experiences teaching thousands thousands of youth across Canada to code, and informed by the insights gathered through this work, we have developed resources designed to demystify coding for non-technical educators and empower them to implement technical learning in their classrooms.

Together with teachers and non-traditional educators, we will inspire the next generation of Canadian technologists.

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Our Signature Initiatives

National Learn to Code Day is the first event of its kind in Canada. The vision for National Learn to Code Day is to offer a starting point for adult women who want to learn how to code — a fun place to test the coding waters! — and a yearly touchpoint for our continuing learners to support ongoing learning and growth opportunities. We want women to get excited about technology and realize their own potential to become empowered creators for the web.

Since 2013, we’ve had over 3,000 Canadians participate in National Learn to Code Day across Canada learning to buildwebsites, analyze Government of Canada Open Data and this year,we’ll be building interactive games and stories.

Join us and help make National Learn to Code Day a household name!

Learn to Code Day takes place this year on September 24, 2016. Find a workshop near you at ladieslearningcodeday.com

National Learn to Code Day

Girls Learning Code Day

Building on the success of National Learn to Code Day, we wanted to create an opportunity to inspire young girls to leverage technology as a creative tool to change the world through National Girls Learning Code day.

On Girls Learning Code Day, girls ages 8-13 and their parent or guardian attend simultaneous in-person workshops in cities across the country. Parent-child pairs learn and collaborate together to build a project from scratch - from a website with HTML & CSS to their own video game or interactive story. This event helps girls discover a passion for learning about technology, experience the joy that comes from being a builder of the web and become more confident and develop a willingness to try new things.

Girls Learning Code Day takes place this year on November 12, 2016.

The code:mobile is our newest and biggest initiative — in partnership with Microsoft Canada — to inspire and educate Canadian girls and boys to becomebuilders — not just consumers of technology.

Think: a computer lab on wheels.

But, it’s more than just a truck or a computer lab. It’s a cross-Canada journey that will bring technology education to Canadian youth at community events, Summer Camps, schools, community centers, parks and more in major cities and underprivileged and remote communities, alike.

This Summer, we’ll be visiting 59 communities running pop-up coding workshops at local parks, community centres, Summer Camps, street festivals and more travelling an estimated 35,000km coast to coast andteaching over 10,000 kids to code!

The Code Mobile Truck LoThe Code Mobile

What Makes Us Different

From day one, Ladies Learning Code has been by the community, for the community. And we believe that that has made all the difference.

Our unique 4:1 ratio of learners to volunteer mentors in every workshop has helped Ladies Learning Code become known as a safe, welcoming environment where beginners of all backgrounds can come together to learn essential 21st century technical skills.

Our collaborative approach working with local Chapter Leads, community organizations, and partners has allowed us to create solutions that address the unique needs of each community.

Diversity in the tech community is a collective responsibility, and we are proud to work with incredible women, men, and youth who are passionate about tech education for all.

Our Reach

Early on in our work, we realized that the need for our programs went far beyond the boundaries of Toronto.

Today, Ladies Learning Code operates in 29 cities and counting — at least one in every single province — each run by a local community leader, our Chapter Lead.

Check out the map below to learn more about how our grassroots approach is bringing digital literacy to Canadians where they live, work, and play:

Code Mobile route Code Mobile Route

Chapter Location Chapter City

Present Day

First LLC Chapter

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Stories From Our Community

Community Creations

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Running Through the Six

Chloe • AGE 15

Using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, Chloe built an interactive word-based game following one of Canada’s favorite artists Drake through the streets of Toronto. As an active member of our teen:club program, Chloe has attended many workshops and industry events gaining valuable exposure and skills leveraging technology as a creative tool.

View Live

Save the Panda Foundation

Maryam, Pritika, Jodi, Nicholas and Matthew • AGES 11 - 12

Each week of camp, small teams of girls and boys form to create a project around a social cause. In this Summer’s Webmaker Camp Team Spark learners were exposed to a variety of technology and languages from HTML & CSS to designing infographics and digital art. This team combined their new found skills and created a website (completely from scratch!) to support their cause: saving endangered Pandas.

View Live
Save the Panda Foundation project - screenshot of website in macbook mockup
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women - screenshot of website in macbook mockup

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Latasia • AGE 12

This minimalist website built from scratch with HTML & CSS underscores the importance of technology as a tool for self expression. For young Latasia, who has a passion for writing, being able to code, she explains, will help her build a webpage to share her writing. "There's a lot of things that hold us back, and coding may just be a point where we can share our opinions on the internet and people can see us for girls and humans."

View Live

Social Impact

This year, we undertook an extensive research project, surveying close to 1,000 members of our community and conducting in-person focus groups with learners, parents and volunteers.

Since our impact on Canadians coast to coast is multi-faceted, our research required the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods to fully capture the impact that we have had on our community. Our social impact metrics are largely based on self-reported data.

902 Workshops To Date
Across Canada

68% Ladies Learning Code

19% Girls Learning Code

13% Kids Learning Code

6,124 Mentors

40,047 Learners

49,187 Volunteer Hours

265,621 Hours Spent Coding

One Represents 300

24.2% of learners identify as a visible minority

57% of mentors identify as women

92% of learners identify as women/girls

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Youth Illustrated Background

92.2%I would recommend ladies learning code to a friend

84.8% ladies learning code has inspired me in some way

72.2% ladies learning code made me feel like I could become part of the tech community

64.5% ladies learning code has heped me develop an area of my life in some way

63.7% my confidence increased after a llc workshop

95.1% i am curious about what technology can do

80.3% i feel like what i learn at kids / girls learning code gives me an advantage as a student

59.0% the skills I've learned with kids / girls learning code can help make a difference in the world

Hear From Our Partners

Title Sponsor

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    • MARS
    • WESELL
    • NOTMAN
    • VIATEC
    • HOVER
    • HUBBA
    • CLIO
    • MOBIFY
    • IMACS
    • 500PX
    • FLIPP


It is only through the generous support of our sponsors, partners, and individual donors that Ladies Learning Code has been able to grow so steadily over the last five years and regularly launch new initiatives that respond to the growing needs of our community. As we continue to evolve, we are committed to honouring each and every contribution to our shared mission.


56.8% Corporate Contributions
42.8% Program Service Fees
0.4% Other


4.27% Advertising & Promotion
1.52% Amortization
1.58% Insurance and Professional Fees
5.58% Office & General
33.11% Program Supplies and Special Events
5.57% Rent
48.06% Payroll
Download Financial Statements

Vision For 2025

From our vantage point in 2016, the future is looking brighter than ever.

It is increasingly evident that technology has the power to profoundly alter our world, making technical education more vital than ever. And every single day in communities across Canada, we are witness to the personal and collective transformation that comes when we empower individuals to go from being consumers to builders of this life-changing technology.

We’ve made a lot of impact in five short years and but there’s still much work to be done to ensure Canadians are educated, equipped and empowered to succeed in our increasingly digital and global economy.

In service of this goal, our vision for the future is big, bold and ambitious.

We firmly believe that diversity is Canada’s strength. We want every Canadian to have the opportunity to build - not just consume technology and we will work tirelessly to ensure every woman, girl, person with disabilities, indigenous youth and newcomers are given equal opportunity to build our future.

The future is code. The time is now. Join us.